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Cremation?
Old 09-16-2023, 04:49 PM   #1
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Cremation?

Not getting any younger, and I've been thinking about this lately. I did some brief searching about cremation, but for the most part I've just hit on a bunch of ads. Not sure where to start, so I'll just throw out some random questions, for anyone that may have info:
Does a typical Cremation Service company also provide a funeral service, or just the cremation and then a funeral home handles the next aspect?
For unexpected death, can they respond quickly to get the process started?
Funeral homes have a horrid reputation for prepaid services. Is it the same for Cremation companies?
Supposedly, cremation costs less than a traditional burial/funeral. Is this true? If you want/need a funeral home for a service, does that negate any savings?
Perhaps the biggest question, if anyone knows, presuming I leave before DW: we were born and raised Jewish, raised our kids Jewish, but we are not religious. However DW was raised much more Orthodox than I was. If I were to pass, those roots may come back to her. Accepted Jewish tradition does not permit cremation. I don't know if this is religion or tradition. Anyone have insight on this, and if it's not permitted would it be hard to get a Rabbi to officiate some sort of memorial service?
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Old 09-16-2023, 04:55 PM   #2
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Old 09-16-2023, 05:16 PM   #3
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My Mom was cremated when she passed away in 2016 and my Dad plans to be. Here's the website of the place we used: https://www.cremationsociety-idaho.com/

In our case, we just did the cremation and interment at the military cemetery columbarium with the standard USAF columbarium marker. We had a separate celebration of life at the retirement home which was done completely independently. I suspect most cremation places just offer cremation, urns, and burials / interments and you would have to do a funeral service separately.

Yes, they can respond quickly for an unexpected death. My Mom was on hospice so her death was somewhat expected but the timing is never exact. She passed away at about 9pm, we called hospice and I think they called the Cremation Society. The Cremation Society and hospice folks were there and everything was taken care of before 11pm.

We did not do prepaid with them. It appears from the above website that they offer that, but they worked perfectly well with us on an as needed basis.

I do think cremation is cheaper than a traditional burial. My Mom's cremation all in was about $800. With a traditional burial, you usually have a casket, and if you want a viewing or a service there are probably charges for that. Then there is the burial plot and the marker/memorial if you want one of those - when we did that for a child we lost in late pregnancy in 1997, the total there was about $4000 just for the plot and marker.

On the Jewish tradition question, all I know is that I had a lot of Jewish friends in college, and they varied from ultra ultra orthodox to whatever they call the other end of the spectrum. The former wouldn't answer their dorm phones on the Sabbath (because of the commandment to rest on the Sabbath), the latter were mostly unobservant except maybe the major holy days. And there was every variation in between. I would bring it up with your wife and ask some rabbis in your area about your preferences. Obviously you can leave documents and you hope she follows your indicated preferences but in practice it's up to the survivor(s) to decide what happens.

As an aside, if you're going to be cremated anyway, you might consider organ or whole body (aka medical) donations. You can help out future medical professionals or save others lives, and those places often will pick up your body and cremate what's left over when they're done. You do need to fill out paperwork in advance and let people know about the paperwork. My first choice place will do everything for free except $150 to $175 in USPS shipping to mail the remainder to my sister.
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Old 09-16-2023, 05:25 PM   #4
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No expertise in the view of the Jewish faith towards cremation- maybe you could consult a local rabbi (a liberal one if your wife is open to it) and get his/her views?

My own experience: DH was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in July, 2016 and died in November of that year. We cheerfully agreed on cremation because the $$ involved for in-ground burial were steep and it wasn't important to us. I talked with the local funeral home beforehand and pre-paid for the cremation, which was only about $1,000. Although they had a WIDE selection of urns and memorabilia (DH and I laughed at the glass paperweight with dyed cremains swirled into a tasteful design for $485) there was no hard sell.

When DH died and the hospice nurses came I handed the funeral home's card to the nurse and she dealt with them. They arrived and removed the body and I picked up the cremains a few days later contained in a heavy plastic bag in a plain plastic box; my brother, a gifted woodworker, made a more suitable one.

We had a church service with no involvement from the funeral home. I'm sure most could arrange a memorial service. Do NOT do a balloon release- very bad for the wildlife!

Interesting coincidence- today I got out the travel-sized Gold Bond powder bottle I use to take some ashes when traveling with me. I'd told DH I was going to scatter bits of his ashes on my travels and he loved that idea. He's in about 20 countries now (most, I suspect, in conflict with local laws, except India where a Hindu priest chanted from the Vedas as I scattered them in the Ganges). Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria up next.

This is a good time to think about a send-off meaningful to both of you.
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Old 09-16-2023, 05:54 PM   #5
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I decided to be cremated. I haven't checked on prices, but I believe the local funeral homes handle the whole deal.

MIL has 5 cemetery plots for her, her 3 children, and spouses of her 3 children. The cemetery allows two people to be buried in the same grave, if at least one of them is cremated. Not sure what my in-laws are doing, so I'm not sure if DW and I will be buried side by side or in the same grave.
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Old 09-16-2023, 06:20 PM   #6
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We have a large family plot. DW wants to be cremated and her ashes spread at a particular channel marker outside the harbor. She just doesn't want to be put in the ground "where there's bugs and things". While I understand this, it does hurt me to think that we won't be at each other's side for all time.

But it's what she wants. I'll sleep alone.
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Old 09-16-2023, 06:49 PM   #7
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Why don't you contact a Jewish funeral director for a (free) consultation to get a better idea of the options?
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Old 09-16-2023, 07:28 PM   #8
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Why don't you contact a Jewish funeral director for a (free) consultation to get a better idea of the options?
Yes, I plan to do exactly that. My OP was a spur of the moment post, while I had some idle time. Thanks to all for the replies; very helpful!
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Old 09-16-2023, 07:41 PM   #9
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Old 09-16-2023, 08:10 PM   #10
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We received one of the free lunch if you listen to our pitch letters for a cremation society. I like the idea, but didn't buy, even though the price beats a funeral. I expect I will at some time. Upon notification, they pick up the body, and return it in a box. You have your own, memorial/Celebration of life. They will dispose of the ashes, I think for an extra fee, at sea if you like. I suspect with others.
I'm sure it would not be hard to get on the lunch list.
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Cremation?
Old 09-16-2023, 08:39 PM   #11
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Cremation?

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Originally Posted by marko View Post
We have a large family plot. DW wants to be cremated and her ashes spread at a particular channel marker outside the harbor. She just doesn't want to be put in the ground "where there's bugs and things". While I understand this, it does hurt me to think that we won't be at each other's side for all time.

But it's what she wants. I'll sleep alone.


Perhaps choose an item that reminds you of her, and have that item buried with you whether you are first or last to go. Not the same, yet might be a way to feel close.
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Old 09-16-2023, 09:48 PM   #12
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In addition to funeral director, I would reach out to a reform and reconstructionist Rabbi to learn their views about Jewish law/tradition.
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Old 09-17-2023, 03:30 AM   #13
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Donating your body is best, waste not. Second best is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alkali...body_disposal). Best for the environment, supposed to be cheaper.
About the Jewish tradition - it is about the resurrection. But they don't explain what is going to happen to the 6 million Jews that were killed in the holocaust, and were mostly cremated and otherwise not buried in the "right" way according to them.
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Old 09-17-2023, 05:15 AM   #14
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Old 09-17-2023, 06:44 AM   #15
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here is one I had book marked, donate and you get what left.

https://www.sciencecare.com/resource...f-life-options
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Old 09-17-2023, 07:27 AM   #16
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There is a smidge of humor in a thread on cremation being in the "Life after FIRE" section.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:17 AM   #17
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DW and I planned on being cremated but recently we bought a plot in a nice shady section of Congressional Cemetary. We have a K9 Corps membership at the Cemetary and are there several days a week with our dog. The Cemetary is also a wonderful 35 acre dog park. Memberships help allay Cemetary maintenance and were instrumental in bringing it back from a neglected drug site to a flourishing historic park.

We are putting a memorial bench on our plot so we can sit in the shade while we are alive. We are considering going with a green burial or may just stick with cremation. The Cemetary has a nice historic chapel for services. Since we are not religious, we figured we could plan out a post mortem service/process so the kids would not be struck dreaming something up.

Here is a photo at the Cemetary of an old friend who always wanted to smoke a joint on Hoover's grave.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:26 AM   #18
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Cremation for both of us. Same as our parents. One wanted a service, the other did not.

Family plot? We have all moved across the country, some of us several times.
No idea where we will end up.

I have told DW that if I fall of my perch while travelling to bring me home in a take out container....not a wooden box! Or leave me there. I will never know the difference.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:54 AM   #19
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I decided to be cremated. I haven't checked on prices, but I believe the local funeral homes handle the whole deal.

MIL has 5 cemetery plots for her, her 3 children, and spouses of her 3 children. The cemetery allows two people to be buried in the same grave, if at least one of them is cremated. Not sure what my in-laws are doing, so I'm not sure if DW and I will be buried side by side or in the same grave.
My father, age 96, passed earlier this year. My mother previously passed in 2010 and her remains were placed in a columbarium in Holly Michigan, (Great Lakes National Cemetary), since dad was a veteran of WWII.

The funeral home cost for cremation, no casket, services or showings was just under $2,700. No charge for burial at the VA cemetery. My father requested this funeral home because it was the one that handled my mother's arrangements which was a more traditional affair with casket, showing and services that ran almost $8,000 in 2010. Most all of the relatives and people who attended that funeral have long since passed so my father elected to forgo those aspects of his passing.

Just an FYI of what we found as costs through a funeral home as opposed to a dedicated cremation service facility.
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Old 09-17-2023, 11:29 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
...

Does a typical Cremation Service company also provide a funeral service, or just the cremation and then a funeral home handles the next aspect?
I can answer based only on my mother's death and cremation.

The cremation service provided just that. If we wanted any sort of funeral we would've had to dealt with a funeral home separately. The cremation company, for an extra fee, would've provided an urn for the ashes. My BIL is a potter and created two burial urns for us. I did purchase a very small urn containing a small amount of mom's ashes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
...For unexpected death, can they respond quickly to get the process started?
We didn't engage the cremation company until after mom passed. There was no delay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
...Funeral homes have a horrid reputation for prepaid services. Is it the same for Cremation companies?
Apart from offering burial urns I don't recall being offered any 'ups' or 'extras'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
...
Supposedly, cremation costs less than a traditional burial/funeral. Is this true?
very true.
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